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Media releases

Sustainability central to Westpac’s business strategy

 

14 November 2011

Westpac Group today released its 2011 Annual Review and Sustainability Report which highlights the company’s sustainability performance over the 12 months to 30 September 2011.

The report provides insights into sustainability issues and their drivers across all Westpac’s brands. It includes details of metrics that evaluate and track performance on key areas including customers, employees, communities and businesses.

General Manager, Corporate Affairs & Sustainability, David Bell said: “The world is changing and people need to think differently. We believe we have a responsibility to show leadership and bring our particular resources and skills to bear to assist customers and society understand and adapt to a changing landscape.

“We’ve made significant progress this year and we are all proud that Westpac was ranked number one of banks globally by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In addition, we were the only Australian bank to be featured in the global 100 most sustainable corporations in the world.

“We are taking our sustainability strategy to the next level. Our focus next year will be on demographic and cultural change, environmental challenges, and sustainable wealth creation. Our activities will focus on issues that matter to help customers, communities and our people prosper for the long term.”

Highlights from the report include:

  • Progress on diversity and flexibility, including the improved representation of women in senior leadership roles, currently at 37.5%. Westpac is tracking well to achieving the target of 40% by 2014.
  • The launch of the Davidson Institute, Australia’s First School of Money, providing a dedicated education resource to help all Australians access financial education.
  • Supported communities impacted by natural disasters in Australia and New Zealand. Employee fundraising donated over $516,000 to support impacted employees in Queensland and Victoria, and $38,000 for Christchurch employees which was matched by Westpac. An upfront contribution of $500,000 to the Queensland Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal (including $250,000 from St.George) boosted by a further $500,000 set aside as a local communities small grants program. 
  • $20 million donated to the Westpac Foundation giving the Foundation the opportunity to double its distributions. 
  • Support for Indigenous Communities. This year we began implementing our Reconciliation Action Plan and introduced a new Senior Manager, Indigenous Engagement; a steering committee to oversee our Indigenous engagement; an Indigenous employee working group; and, we integrated Indigenous suppliers into our supply chain. 
  • An Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) Risk Framework has been developed and approved in New Zealand.

The Report is available to view online at www.westpac.com.au/sustainabilityreport.